Updated April 20, 2017: The March for Science in Washington D.C. has released a list of speakers and special guests who will be at the event, although a schedule of when those people will be appearing has not yet been released. See below for more details.
On April 22 (Earth Day), scientists and science advocates will gather in Washington, D.C., for the first-ever March for Science, as a show of support for science, science research and funding for science. For space fans considering attending the march in Washington, D.C., or one of the satellite marches, here are a few things to know.
Details about the March for Science in Washington, D.C., can be found on the March for Science main website. The event will feature a slate of speakers, including science outreach guru Bill Nye, who is one of three honorary co-chairs for the event.
As of April 20, satellite marches are scheduled to take place in over 370 cities around the country and 140 additional locations worldwide. You can find a complete list of satellite march locations on the March for Science website. [Bill Nye Has an Exclusive 'Science Is Universal' Shirt for the March for Science]
What is the March for Science?
The March for Science "will be a call for politicians to implement science-based policies, as well as a public celebration of science and the enormous public service it provides in our democracy, our economy and our daily lives," declared the March for Science organizers on the event's mission website.
The March for Science was first proposed on a Reddit message board in January, following the success of the Women's March on Washington, D.C. That event also spawned dozens of satellite marches worldwide, drawing millions of supporters. Support for the March for Science has also been motivated by significant cuts to national science programs proposed by the Trump administration, as well as concerns that the president is not committed to fighting climate change by curbing the country's greenhouse gas emissions.
"The application of science to policy is not a partisan issue," reads part of the mission statement for the march. "Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone — without exception. Science should neither serve special interests nor be rejected based on personal convictions. At its core, science is a tool for seeking answers. It can and should influence policy and guide our long-term decision-making."
Why should space fans attend the March?
Many people view the March for Science as a way for members of the scientific community and the general public to show policy makers and the world that science needs political and financial support. Over 100 scientific member organizations and societies, including the American Astronomical Society, have stated their support for the March for Science.
"We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for policy makers to champion and fund science that upholds the common good and to advocate for evidence-based policies in the public interest at local, state and national levels," said the website for the Los Angeles satellite march.
In addition, some of the satellite marches will feature speakers connected to space science.
The Los Angeles satellite march boasts an impressive list of speakers, including Allison Schroeder, the Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of "Hidden Figures"; Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology and author of multiple popular books about cosmology; and Farisa Morales, an astrophysicist and professor at California State University, Northridge, and Moorpark College in California, who also worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Spitzer Space Telescope. In San Francisco, Adam Savage, co-host of the "MythBusters" TV show, will join the slate of speakers. Updated April 20, 2017: Garrett Reisman, former NASA astronaut and current director of space operations at SpaceX, will be driving an electric hummer leading the march to City Hall in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles march organizers told Space.com.
Updated April 20, 2017: At the March for Science in Washington, D.C., the morning program will be cohosted by Questlove, best known as the bandleader for the musical group The Roots, and science communciator Derek Muller, creator of the YouTube channel Veritasium. Six additional speakers have been announced for the event, including James Balog, founder of the Extreme Ice Survey and Earth Vision Institute, and Megan Smith, the first female U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President under Barack Obama.
Many of the other satellite marches have yet to announce their speaker lineups, so keep an eye on the specific march websites for updates.
Do I need a ticket to attend one of the marches?
No tickets are required for the March for Science in Washington, D.C., but the organizers are encouraging people to register if they plan to attend, so the organizers can anticipate the size of the crowd. You can also use the March for Science registration page to register for satellite marches.
What time is the march?
The Washington, D.C., March for Science kicks off at 9 a.m. with a series of "teach-ins." During these presentations, "scientists, educators and leaders from a wide variety of disciplines will discuss their work, effective science communication strategies and training in public advocacy," according to the website.
The D.C. main-stage rally program begins at 10 a.m., and the march itself begins at 2 p.m. Details about the route that the march will take have not yet been released. For more information about accessibility, what to bring and where to find food, water and bathrooms, visit the March website.
Satellite marches will follow their own timelines, so check the individual march websites or Facebook pages for details about when to show up and other practical information.
For even more information about the March for Science, check out this article from our sister site, Livescience.com.